The Wyoming Legislative Session in review
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - We look back at the year in the Wyoming Legislature and what we have to look forward to.
Covid-19 hit Wyoming’s economy hard. The biggest hit was in the economy and energy sector.
The injection of federal money from Covid relief meant Wyoming got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to steer its foreseeable future.
”We’re finally on level footing. I think we are going to be looking at what are the long-term infrastructure, what are the long-term healthcare, how do we get more families, how do we keep young people,” said Daniel Zwonitzer, Chairman of the House Corporations Committee.
The federal vaccine mandate special session in late October produced Resolution House Bill 1002.
This bill allotted $4 million for future litigation over the Biden administration’s vaccine protocol.
Thanks to the 2020 census, and the shifting Wyoming population, redistricting will add an 11th house seat to Laramie County.
”(Redistricting) is overlaying on some really significant long-term trends about where people are going to live in Wyoming. What our growth rate is and what our economy is like, so we’re seeing quite a shift,” said Cole Case, Wyoming State Senator Dist. 25.
Setting Wyoming up for future growth in the energy sector could mean Wyoming should capitalize on clean technologies that would put Wyoming at the forefront of national energy.
”I think we have a lot of room in the next couple of years to make some innovative approaches. To ensure that we remain the energy capital of the country, but have a smooth transition from fossil fuels to renewable resources. I think we can keep fossil fuels around for and other 10 or 15 years, in a cleaner fashion and keep Wyoming’s economy going as strong as it’s been,” said Zwonitzer.
The Wyoming housing bottleneck has led the Revenue Committee to approve a real estate transfer tax bill.
”If this bill passes... wish to pursue more affordable housing options with the real-estate transfer tax would be able to do that. Housing is even an issue in rural Wyoming, construction is just lagging and the demand and need is ever-increasing,” said Zwonitzer.
Wyoming is setting itself up to develop a bright future in the new year.
”Let’s not mess this up and take federal funds for a couple of years and be with a weaker economy in the end. It’s really important that we make the investments and that we structure our tax system to provide the funding that is going to be needed for education, for roads, for the University, for Health Care when the ARPA funds run out,” said Case.
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